Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pure Words

My new CD, Pure Words, is now available from me. We sing several of these songs in our church, and I hope they might work in yours, as well!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The music in our church

Not being a very policy-oriented fellow, we don't have a written policy in our church about what music we will and will not use. But we do have some general guidelines...

1. The Psalms are the dominant source. We are not exclusive Psalmists, we think that other scriptures and songs derived from them may be sung, but we are dominant Psalmists. There are generally more psalms in our worship than other stuff. We try to avoid the sort of music that tells you how I feel, unless you are doing a psalm and that is what David is doing just there.

2. Word-for-word Psalmnody is preferable to versified Psalmnody. Of course there is a lot more accessible material for the versified sort than for the word for word sort, consult any Psalter and you will see what I mean. But I think that God built His word in such a way that the structure is part of His revelation to us, and we lose something when we restructure it. In our church, we use the Cantus Christi Hymnbook, and probably about half our service uses music that I have made.

3. We make use of our musicians. If your most able leaders in music play guitar, then by all means use them. If you have songwriters in your midst, encourage them to write word for word songs from the Psalms and the rest of the Bible for the congregation to sing.

We know that God has greatly gifted musicians in the past to write music for the church to sing, so we don't despise it, but learn how to sing it well. But we don't stop there; we try to build on the foundations already laid. We don't assume that church music has reached it's pinnacle and cannot be improved upon, we rather try to make songs that are more faithful to the Scriptures, because we know that the Scriptures shape us into the image of Jesus.

These are some things, in brief...